Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The Undefined Gamer: "I, Robot (2004)" Review

Domo arigato, Mr. Will Smith-o.

       I have not read the original Asimov story nor watched any previous
film adaptations of this, so this review will not be about if the
remake did the original justice. On the plus side, I can give an
unbiased review. So, let's jump into this CG-heavily Will Smith flick.
      The story follows Del Spooner (do I see a "Spooning with Spooner"
Youtube video in the future), played by Will Smith. Smith, like in
many of his movies, is a cop in futuristic Earth circa 2035. Much has
changed in the next 22 years. Weeeell actually it hasn't. The only
noticeable changes in Spooner's New York is the integration of robots,
manufactured by the big, bad USR, and the fact that cars no longer
have wheels. That's pretty much it.
      Spooner's story begins when he has a bizarre accident, plunging him
and another car into a body of water. Fear not! A robot comes to save
Smith. However, there was a girl, Sarah, that could also have been
saved. This leads to Smith developing a prejudice to robots.
      Later, USR releases a new model of robots, which are sleeker,
stronger, and... smarter. Soon afterwards, a scientist whom Smith knew
dies mysteriously. This leads to Smith conducting a personal
investigation, which leads him to Dr. Calvin and a robot named Sonny,
who malfunctioned.
That's not how computers work.

      However, just as Smith starts to figure things out, whenever he is
alone, robots attack him. This forces Smith to kill excessive amounts
of robots, which does his rep no good.
      Then the robots try to take over. Controlled by V.i.c.k.i., the umm,
AI that allows humans to control the robots. Vicki's original
programming was to protect people. However, that smart b*tch
interpreted that into that she must take over humanity and watch their
every moves in order to protect them from themselves. It's not a bad
idea, really, but like Communism, I doubt it'd work in real life. As
expected, Sonny, Smith, and Calvin embark on the most actiony sequence
to destroy V.i.c.k.i., and well, save the world. Afterwards, Sonny
leads the robots freed from V.i.c.k.i.'s influence, and it is hinted
that afterwards, robots gained freedom.
      I have to admit, this movie could've been a lot worse. Like John
Carter bad. But it wasn't. They where able to modernize a classic
story with no ill effects. The visuals look great, the robots look...
only slightly dated. The acting is everything we've come to expect
from a Smith movie. In fact, everything about this movie is what we've
come to expect from a Smith B-movie.
      Sci-Fi elements. Killing shit. End-of-the-world-as-we-know-it
scenario. Set in the near future. Smith against great odds.
Robot dentists are even worse then ours.
      In fact the only thing out of place is the writing. It resonates with
undertones and plot devices I assume are remiscant of Isaac Asimov's
original work. That, and the premise is far more philosophical than
most of Smith's films (when does random series of codes become
consciousness). As it should, as stories such as this kickstarted the
whole controversy over AI.
      I have to admit, this isn't the greatest movie. It isn't bad though,
in fact I enjoyed it a lot. Sure, this has more stuff under the hood
than any of Smith's other movies, but that is to be expected when you
remake something such as I, Robot. The action works, though it may not
be all that original. But hey, it's action... nobody cares.

I, Robot gets 3.5 out of 6 stars

No comments:

Post a Comment